EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- All the Washington Redskins needed to avoid a dreaded 0-3 start was a couple of fourth-quarter interceptions by backups and five field goals from a guy who had never made that many in a game.
"We needed to get that first win bad," said cornerback Greg Toler, who played most of the game after starter Bashaud Breeland hurt an ankle early. "We couldn't lose the first three, and we hung in there and got some real contributions from everybody. You get everyone stepping up. The coaches treat all of us the same, coaches us up whether first- or second- or third- or fourth-string like we are starters."
Josh Brown would put New York ahead with a 30-yard field goal midway through the quarter, but Washington came back.
It was a game marked by Giants mistakes. They turned the ball over three times and had 11 penalties for 128 yards.
"Any time you lose against any team, no matter where they are at, it is a tough one to swallow," receiver Victor Cruz said. "Especially one like this where we had some opportunities to put some points on the board, but you win some and you lose some, you have to learn from the losses and move on."
"Everyone loves touchdowns. I love touchdowns," Hopkins said. "When they call on me, I do the best I can to put the team in a position to win, whether they send me out there five times or once, it's OK."
This was an NFC East matchup that see-sawed the entire second half after Washington rallied from a 21-9 deficit.
"We got it in us. We are fighters, fighters to the end. Scrapping. Savagery as they come," Norman said. "Real gritty, all the way down to the bone and gristle. Fight, fight, fight."
In the end, Washington made the big plays in avoiding the 0-3 start. Only three teams since 1990 have made the playoffs after losing three in row to start the season.
SPECIAL TEAMS: It was an exciting day for the guys from specials. Crowder's 50-yard punt return and a 31-yard fourth-down pass by punter Tress Way to Dunbar set up two of Hopkins' field goals. Dunbar, however, muffed a punt that led to Vereen's TD early in the game.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press